Jan. 28, 1998
Villanova Downs Notre Dame, 70-54
Beisel scores career-high 30 points
PHILADELPHIA-In women's basketball action at The Pavilion, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 70-54. With the win, Villanova improves to 13-6 overall and 7-4 in Big East play, while Notre Dame falls to 13-6 overall and 7-4 in conference action.
The story of the game for Villanova was the play of senior forward Jenn Beisel, who scored a career-high 30 points on 14-of-25 shooting. Beisel also added four assists and three steals. Beisel helped the Wildcats break the game open by scoring 11 of Villanova's 16 points during a 16-2 Villanova run from 15:09 of the second half until the 8:50 mark, giving the Cats a 56-40 lead.
After the Villanova run, the Wildcats kept the pressure on, as they increased the advantage to 64-44 with 4:07 remaining. The 20-point Wildcat lead was Villanova's largest of the game.
In the first half, Notre Dame gained its largest lead of the half at 24-18, with 6:57 left until intermission. The Irish used a 7-0 spurt over two minutes to gain the six point advantage. Following the Notre Dame run, Villanova came back with six straight points to tie the game at 24-24 with 3:54 on the clock. The Wildcats would outscore the Irish, 6-4, the rest of the half and go to intermission with a 30-28 advantage.
Besides the play of Beisel, a major key to the Villanova win was the Wildcat defense, which held Notre Dame to 23 points below its season average of 77.1 in Big East games. The Villanova defense also forced Notre Dame into 23 turnovers and 31.6 percent shooting from the field. In contrast, Villanova committed just 11 turnovers and shot 46.4 percent from the floor.
Besides Beisel, the only other Wildcat to score in double figures was sophomore Jenea Skeeters who had 12 points. Senior guard Jenny Higgins registered nine points and a career-high nine rebounds.
Notre Dame was paced by junior Sheila McMillen and senior Kari Hutchinson who tallied 12 points each, while senior Mollie Peirick recorded six points, six rebounds and four steals.
Villanova returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 31 when they travel to Boston College for a 1 p.m. Big East contest.